It was a three day weekend. They had been planning the camping weekend for a couple months. The first to arrive at the campground secured a good camp site and started setting up camp. Folding chairs under the awning and the barbeque ready to start the first night's dinner when the other two got there. Radio adjusted to relaxing music since this was what they all wanted this weekend.
As the other two friends arrived in their cars, the dinner was cooking so they could eat before it was dark. After dinner, a stroll around the campground helped loosen the kinks from a hard week at their individual jobs. They all agreed they would like to get to sleep so they could get up with the sun and take a long hike before making breakfast.
The morning hike was invigorating and a good workout in the mountainous terrain. The coffee aroma and breakfast smells were the reward. Then they played cards and relaxed into the weekend. A couple hours before time for lunch, one of the friends said she felt like a little more hiking and was going to walk some. The other friends reminded her to stay on the trail since she was the only one who had not been at this campground before and she might get lost. She said she felt confident she could find her way easily but she did agree to stay on the trail. It was agreed that she would be back within two hours and no longer.
As the lunch preparations began the two friends asked each other if one of them should follow the path and walk back with their other friend. They decided to wait another hour.
At the end of that hour one person headed to the trail with water and the other person walked to the ranger station. Cell phones did not work anywhere on the campground property. The ranger organized a small search team of the workers in the kitchen and camp store and they began a search. The friend who notified the rangers returned to the camp site to wait.
A couple hours later they all came walking into the camp site. The friend had wandered off the trail and had gotten turned around and panicked which caused her to walk into a thicket. She had nicks and cuts all over her bare legs and arms from trying to move through the thorny brambles. After a shower and some first aid she was feeling calm and more like her self again.
This was the second time in my life that I tried to warn a friend to stay on the trail and my caution was not heeded. The first time was the story in this post. Fortunately, in this instance the friend's wounds were not as severe as the first one.